Friday, February 19, 2010

Julie Goodwin

Hello, Julie Goodwin.

Who are you?

Lord Wiki says she's a chef. She was the winner of the first season of Masterchef. I've heard of that show. I think my cousin Laura and my friend Tracey watch it. They both love to cook, so it makes sense that they would like the show.

Lord Wiki doesn't have much to say about Goodwin. She was born sometime in 1971. She's married, has three kids, and lives in the Central Coast region of New South Wales. Really. That's pretty much all her has to say. So I'm going to have to look elsewhere for more information.

Here's an article from The Age. I guess the win happened around July 2009. That's when the article came out, announcing that she's the Masterchef.

She competed with seven thousand people to win. When she won, she described her feelings as happy. I think that's a simple yet concise way to describe how someone is likely to feel in such a situation.

The prize for winning the show was $100,000 and a cookbook deal. That's pretty cool. Goodwin said she wants to open up a restaurant. I wonder if she's done that yet. Goodwin says she wants her restaurant to serve good food, unpretentious food. Yeah I prefer good food over the pretentious stuff. Sometimes pretentious food can be good though. It's just bad when you pay a lot of money for a tiny amount of food that looks pretty, but doesn't taste too spectacular. It's probably equally bad though when you pay a moderate price for a humongous amount of food that's really unhealthy for you.

The Herald Sun also had an article. Goodwin sounds a bit like Lindsay Fox when she says, I’m really proud to be able to go home to my family with the title and to be able to demonstrate to my kids that if you want something badly enough, and you work hard for it, that you can have it.
What about the other seven thousand people who entered the competition? Is she saying they didn't work as hard as her? What about Poh Ling Yeow? She came in second place. Did she work less hard then Goodwin?

No, I don't think wanting and working hard will guarantee you getting what you want. There's luck involved. And there's also natural talent. Cooking comes easier to some people, just like drawing comes easier to other people.

Here's a more recent article...from this January. It talks about how the Goodwin family usually spends Christmas at her parent's holiday home in Dalmeny. That's on the south coast. I think it's kind of funny that they travel all the way to Dalmeny when there's nice enough beaches on the Central Coast where they live. Maybe it's just a convenient place for all the relatives to get together?

The article says that the Masterchef competition was friendly and wholesome. Is that true? If it is, I'm impressed. I feel most reality TV competitions are unfriendly, overcompetitive, and rely on sensationalism.

Before Goodwin started with the contest, she did work for her husband's IT company. Now she's taking the time to pursue her cooking dreams. That's good. It's nice when people are given the chance to follow their dreams.

I'm going to watch some Julie Goodwin videos on YouTube.

Or maybe not. I'm having YouTube issues again.

Now it's working. Good. Here's some of Masterchef. The talking judge seems nice enough...giving positive reinforcement. The silent brooding chefs are typical reality TV characters. Let's look like we're mean because that will make viewers more interested.
Okay. Now those judges are giving compliments too. They've become a bit nicer. You know, I think I've watched some of this show before....for another post, maybe? I remember the judges acted really rude and standoffish, as if they expected to be given crap to eat. Then they tasted the food, and liked it. But see, to me it's all an act. And it's what I don't like about reality TV.

Oh no! While Goodwin's partner's salmon was praised, Goodwin's Christmas chocolate cake was criticized. The judge says there should be egg nog flavor in the sauce surrounding the cake. That sounds yummy to me.

These people (judges and contestants) do such a good job at looking serious, disturbed, and annoyed. If I was in that position, I'd probably start giggling or something.

I know I'm being all harsh here...maybe kind of like one of those judges. I just don't like reality TV. All the shows look the same to me. They're just competing in different areas, but the concepts and formats are so similar. I AM impressed that Goodwin can cook so well, and I'm glad that she won all this money and can follow her dream. There IS a positive to all these reality TV contests. I won't deny that.

Here Goodwin talks about her future cookbook. She says she wants it to be called A Family Cookbook. The first chapter will be about her family. Then she wants the last chapter to be blank so people can add photographs and stories of their own family. That's very sweet. I wonder if people will take the time to put their family story in it. As an extension to that, she could set up a website where people could have their own little family cooking pages. That would be pretty cool. They can share their family stories, and include a few favorite recipes.

This article talks about rumors of the Masterchef contest being rigged. I think of rigged as cheating. But from what I'm reading, it looks like this is more about the validity of the contest results. Is Goodwin really the best chef, or was it more of a popularity thing? In any type of contest, popularity is going to play a part. I don't think there's any way to prevent that. Well, the one way would be for the chefs to taste and rate the food without knowing who cooked it. That might work...blind taste tests.

If a competition is a good one, ONE of the best will win. It might not be the absolute best. But contests are objective, right? There never truly can be an absolute best, because we all have different opinions of what that might be.

There's some jealous and angry bloggers out there....not happy with Goodwin winning. Ranting Chef says, Remember, chefs are not just TV stars, we cook for a profession, it's our life and not a one night stand. It's in our blood. You don't become a MasterChef just by winning a house wife cooking show and you won't become a master chef overnight, I and many others have been striving for perfection for years and still wouldn't dare give ourselves the title of a MasterChef.
Here's something that's not fair. I started writing novels when I was fifteen. I worked very hard on them, and I wrote screenplays too. I spent most of my senior year writing. I wrote. I submitted to publishers. I took writing classes. I read writing books. I followed the advice of authors. I worked. I wanted. I pursued. I failed. Then you have people like Stephanie Meyers and J.K. Rowling. Those women didn't even plan to be writers. They got an idea, wrote a book, sent it to a few publishers, and wham....they're super rich and famous. They're so successful, and I'm not. How can that be fair?

Well, guess what. Life isn't always fair. The truth is this: My novels are fairly decent. I think they're pretty good. They've been liked by a few people But Rowling and Meyer's novels are fantastic, and loved by many. These women are incredibly gifted. I might have the same gift, but to a MUCH smaller degree.

So see....it's not just about working hard and wanting something. It's about having natural talent. And it's also dependent on other people's opinions. If enough of the right people like you, you'll be successful. Some people hate Harry Potter, Bella Swan, and Edward Cullen, but their opinions are not sizable enough to counteract the opinions of all the fans.

I imagine it's frustrating for a hard-working chef to see a nonprofessional become an overnight success. But it's just life. Goodwin has something that other chefs don't. She could have been simply blessed with good chef skills. Maybe she can naturally do what takes other chefs years of school to learn. Maybe it's her personality. She might have had a way of getting the judges to sympathize with her. It could be she was blessed with good luck. Maybe she has a harder working guardian angel. Who knows......

Anyway though. I wish Goodwin luck, success, and happiness with her future restaurant and cookbook.